Gerry and Bobby Campbell

Gerry and Bobby Campbell

(0:23:23) But I had to start at the bottom in Banff. Herb Ashley wanted everybody to start at the bottom on the labor gang. They had quite a few laborers working for the warden service in those days. There were trail crews involved, but I was working putting up fencing at the buffalo paddock area which is now kind of the compound area. They had acting wardens. They hire you on as a laborer and then they give you what they called a prevailing rate uniform. That’s an hourly paid uniform, first. They called you an acting warden and they assign you to a senior warden to be his assistant. And that worked out very well. The guy could find out if he wanted to do it permanently or not and the Chief Warden found out if they were going to make it or not. I was assigned to Ernie Young. He was an older warden, been around for 20 years at least. Very nice guy. He taught me quite a few things in the warden line of work.

(0:25:12) Then, Herb (Ashley) came to me one day and said, “How would you like to work in my office?” It just about blew me away. I wasn’t an office person, but he wanted me to sign out hikers and climbers and give out information about backcountry use because I’d worked in the backcountry and camped in the backcountry and had horses in the backcountry so I could advise people that weren’t familiar with it. So I worked in his office for, I guess about three years. (The office) was in the Administration Building (in Banff), the Chief Wardens office. So I got tired of the office end of it. Oh, weather was another thing I used to do. I used to calculate all the fire weather in the summer. We had stations around the park and they would phone in the weather data. I would put it on the charts and forms and work out the fire hazard every day. I got tired of that and I asked to be sent out to a district. They didn’t want to (send out Gerry) because by then (his wife) Bobby had a good job in the Administration Office and they didn’t want to let her go. She was a whiz in an office. So anyway, they finally assigned me to a district. It was the Panther River district…it’s called Windy. So we were there just getting started really and the next spring they phoned me and said, “There’s a Chief Warden job in Georgian Bay Islands. Do you want to put in for it?” So, in those days, I would put in for pretty well anything they asked me to. So I did and I got it. So there went our district. So we packed up and went out to Georgian Bay Islands.

(0:27:34) It was nice. We enjoyed it, learned a lot. I was the only warden in the park, so I had to make a lot of decisions. I supervised the staff. The Superintendent lived in Point Pelee. He travelled around Point Pelee, Georgian Bay Islands, St. Lawrence Islands and Flower Pot Island. The Superintendent travelled around all those places, so he sort of supervised us and there was a Chief Warden in each one of the parks that supervised on site. Did you see Murray Dawson? He married Helen who was the Accountant at Point Pelee when he went there.

(0:29:51) Oh yeah, (his wife Bobby liked being out at Windy). She was a city girl from Montreal. She was born down in the eastern states…

(0:30:18) (Showing a photo) There’s the cabin they called Mystic Cabin, up Forty Mile Creek. It was built on the bank of the river.

(0:30:33) (Showing a photo) Slim Haugen, an RCMP, Al Moore. He was like a warden, he’s been with us forever.

(0:30:48) No…We did it (climbing) because it was the job. But if I had a choice, I would have done something else. But when there is somebody injured on the mountain then it was our job to get them down.